Interuniversitair Instituut voor Missiologie en Oecumenica, Afdeling Missiologie
Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research vol:40 issue:2 pages:144-169
The principle aim of the current study is to examine Saint Paul’s contribution to the search for the unity of all Christians. The study attempts to address the following set of questions: what was Saint Paul’s vision for Christian unity? What is his precise contribution to the unity of the early Christian community? In which ways is Saint Paul’s vision of, and his contribution to Christian unity still relevant, and even necessary for the contemporary quest for the full visible unity of the Church? As our main thesis, we argue that Saint Paul’s vision of Christian unity is deeply Christocentric and points to unity in diversity. The vision of unity in diversity is not a static and rigid type of unity but a dynamic process leading up to full communion.
The study proceeds in four moments: In the first place, the study explores Saint Paul’s view of Christian unity. Secondly, the study investigates the central aspects of Paul’s ecumenical legacy in view of establishing his contribution towards the unity of Christians. Thirdly, the study investigates the significance of Saint Paul’s vision of Christian unity for contemporary search for full and visible unity. Finally, the study concludes with some remarks and challenging insights for those interested in Christian unity and most especially those engaged in ecumenical dialogues.